Scrolling Forward: Making Sense of Documents in the Digital Age

Levy, David M.

Published by Arcade Publishing, 2003
ISBN 10: 1559706481 / ISBN 13: 9781559706483
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Synopsis: By focusing on the "document" in history, the author explores what this simple concept reveals about the people who use it every day, tracing its evolution from the handwritten correspondance of the nineteenth century to the digital documentation of the modern era. Reprint.

Review: What's up, doc? Information scientist David M. Levy wants us to look at the documents that fill our lives, and his book Scrolling Forward is a thoughtful reflection on their near-omnipresence. Levy has the perfect résumé for this job--after getting his Ph.D. in Computer Science in 1981, he took off for England to pursue the study of calligraphy and bookbinding. His love of books shows in his writing, which is rich with references and anecdotes from Walt Whitman to Woody Allen.

Drawing on examples as disparate as grocery store receipts, greeting cards, identity papers, and (of course) e-mail, Levy finds the common threads binding them together and explores how and why we use them in daily life. He looks at digitization closely, considering how speed, ease of editing, and potentially perfect copying changes our traditional considerations of documentation. Though he insists that he's looking at the present, not speculating about the future, it's hard to see how to avoid looking ahead after reading Scrolling Forward. --Rob Lightner

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Title: Scrolling Forward: Making Sense of Documents...
Publisher: Arcade Publishing
Publication Date: 2003
Book Condition: very good

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Levy, David M.
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